SHANGHAI (AP) — Rafael Nadal says his belief that too many tournaments are played on hard courts hasn't changed with his success on the surface this year — he's simply given up trying to change the system.
The Spaniard, who retook the No. 1 ranking from Novak Djokovic this week, has compiled a 27-1 record on hard courts this year, including capturing his second U.S. Open crown and three Masters titles.
His success on the surface has been the most surprising part of his comeback from a seven-month layoff due to a left knee injury, which many believed would limit his action on hard courts.
Nadal said Tuesday before the Shanghai Masters tournament he still believes too many tournaments are played on the surface, but he's done trying to influence ATP policymakers.
"I am really out of politics, and I don't want to be involved in politics of the tennis anymore. I know even if you have strong ideas and even if you believe the changes are possible, I know there is always a wall there that is impossible to go over," he said.
The 13-time Grand Slam winner has long advocated a shorter tournament schedule and more tournaments on clay courts to lessen the wear on players' bodies and prevent career-threatening injuries like the kind with his knees he's struggled with in recent years.
"I say because it's something that I think is going to be fair for the next generations if they are able to play (on) an easier surface for the body, to try to have a longer career, to try to be more healthy when they finish (their) careers," he said. "Something that probably I will not (be lucky enough to have)."
Djokovic said later he shares Nadal's frustrations with the slow pace of change at the top of the sport.
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